People who experience gastrointestinal problems such as peptic ulcer disease, chronic gastritis, reflux esophagitis or dyspepsia are often ordered by their doctors to begin an eating regimen called a bland diet. A bland diet consists primarily of soft foods with low acidity and minimal seasoning. Foods and beverages such as coffee, chocolate, carbonated sodas, dried beans, fried meats, whole grain products and most raw fruits and vegetables are heavily restricted on a bland diet.
While on a bland food diet, patients eat softer foods such as cream of wheat, mashed potatoes or cooked rice in place of heavier starches such as bread, crackers and grain cereals. Portions are controlled in order to minimize the effects of digested food moving through the digestive tract, a process known as peristalsis. Patients recovering from certain surgeries or other medical conditions such as hemorrhoids also benefit from a reduction in peristalsis.